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J Hand Microsurg. 2014 Dec;6(2):74-84. doi: 10.1007/s12593-014-0163-1. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

A systematic review of distal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis.

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1
Upper Limb Unit, Wrightington Hospital, Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP UK.

Abstract

Arthrodesis of the distal interphalangeal joint of the hand is a reliable procedure for creating a painless stable joint. Numerous techniques are described within the literature for varying indications. We undertook a systematic review of all studies published within the English literature to provide a comparison of the different techniques. The published studies were predominantly of Level IV evidence. The most commonly employed techniques were Kirschner wire, headless compression screw and cerclage wires. There was no difference in infection rates. Headless compression screws appear to have increased union rates but are associated with complications not seen with other well-established and cheaper techniques. The screw diameter is often similar to or larger than the joint itself, which can result in penetration. Furthermore, they limit the available angle for achieving fusion. Other than in terms of union, there is insufficient evidence to show the headless compression screw is superior to other techniques.

KEYWORDS:

Arthrodesis; Distal interphalangeal joint; Hand; Review; Techniques

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